Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Blank Tape Levy: New Tax on mobile phones and other electronic gadgets

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The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) announced that the Blank Tape Levy would be collected from Friday, September 15. According to KECOBO, the Blank Tape Levy will be levied on items that may carry copyright-protected content. Besides smartphones, other gadgets the levy will imposed on cameras, Compact Disks (CDs), DVDs and USB drives.

Kenyan consumers are set to dig more into their pockets to buy mobile phones and other electronic gadgets with audio and video recording functions after the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) announced the implementation of the Blank Tape Levy.

In a notice dated Monday, September 11, KECOBO announced the Blank Tape Levy will take effect on Friday, September 15. “KECOBO wishes to inform the public of the commencement of the implementation of the Blank Tape Levy with effect from September 15, 2023, pursuant to sections 28(3)(6) and 30(6) of the Copyright Act and the second schedule part B of the Copyright Regulations 2020,” the board stated. 


The prices of electronics had already gone up now with this tax being imposed on them, it is clear that acquiring a mobile phone or any other electronic device is going to be difficult. Although the KECOBO says the fees will be nominal, meaning they will be very little and hardly noticeable to consumers.

According to Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO, Ezekiel Mutua, the implementation of this levy will see the country generate Ksh6 billion annually.This is a significant increase from the Ksh200 million they currently make.

Sharing similar sentiments with Mutua, sports CS Ababu Namwamba shed light on the changes during a past interview with kenyans.co.ke, adding that money would used to establish key facilities all over the country, including digital content creators’ academies, which will train and upskill creatives.

Maryvine Moraa
Maryvine Moraa
MBA, Business Administration & Accounting. A Passionate IT Enthusiast.

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